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How To Be a Good Ski Boat Crew


Here's how to do all the right things when on someone else's boat. Chances are, a good crew will be invited back a second time, or more.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Duration of the Trip

Here's How:

  1. Be on time. A captain hates to wait, especially if he has planned his trip around the weather, tides, boat traffic, etc.
  2. Pay attention to any instructions the boat owner may have to say.
  3. Ask where the life jackets are located, and put one on. If you choose not to wear one while inside the boat at least make sure one is within your reach.
  4. While someone is waterskiing or wakeboarding, keep conversation to a minimum to prevent distracting the driver.
  5. Keep an eye on the ski rope at all times to make sure it does not make its way under the boat and around the prop.
  6. Be prepared to grab any equipment out of the water from a water-skier or wakeboarder.
  7. Don't bring any food or drinks, especially alcohol, on board unless you ask the boat owner first. Don't litter and use a garbage bag on board.
  8. Keep the inside of the boat tidy, as clear as possible from tangled ropes, scattered equipment, clothing, suntan lotion, etc., to prevent stepping on something.
  9. Help translate what a skier is trying to communicate to the boat driver. Learn the hand signals.
  10. Remove shoes before stepping into the boat. Make sure feet are clean.
  11. Do not sit on the inboard engine cover.
  12. When docking, offer to grab a rope and be prepared to jump out and tie up.
  13. Offer to pay gas money. Boats often cost a lot to maintain.
  14. Make sure the driver or owner gets a chance to ski. Like it or not, a boat owner often asks people to go along just so they can do some skiing themselves.
  15. When you return to shore, offer to stick around and help clean up, tidy, wash, and trailer the boat. The worst part of the day is definitely at the end when it's time to clean up.


  1. If you are a boat owner, and want help with gas money, be sure to let the crew know up front.
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